One of Seven Holy Sacraments…

The Seven Sacraments
Honored and held in Reverence
by this ministry and our church affiliations of
The Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry, The Evangelical Church of the Celtic Cross, The Old Universal Church of the Celtic Cross and
The Independent Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross

By Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., Th.D., M.R.Php., B.D.,    O.S.A., O.S.P., O.S.B., S.O.BB.

The Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of Penance or known as Penitents

The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist also known as Communion

The Sacrament of Confirmation

The Sacrament of Matrimony which is Marriage

The Sacrament of Holy Orders other wise known as Ordination

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

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They are to be classified as an outward sign given and instituted by Christ as examples of giving grace. Jesus Christ is the sacrament. For he gave his life to save mankind. He and His gift to the world was an outward symbol of his love, grace, mercy, humility and humanity to the generations of mankind. It is fitting and proper that we continue to pass on through the generations these examples which are the foundation of all Christian Faith. It is Christ that intercedes with the giving of the sacraments which allows His grace to continually effluence mankind.

In the days of Pentecost, Christ sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles so to help them to govern over the flock as He did. He was and still is today the good shepherd and as a good shepherd watches over and still tends to His chosen through the means of the Holy Sacraments.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 17, verses 18, 20 & 21 is quoted as “ As the Father has sent me, even so I send you”. Christ is the head of all Christian faith and churches. This is reaffirmed through the scriptures of the book of Colossians, chapter 1, verse 18 which states that, Jesus is the head of his body the church. So that makes the church itself a sacrament, instituted by Christ to give grace to all Peoples.

These sacraments are the holy examples given to the body of His church so to aid one to lead a good life in this world and help save mankind by giving us all the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus put forth and instituted the sacraments as part of the Liturgical of early Christendom and are now tradition to be passed on for all future generations. We celebrate in the mysteries of Christ’ life. Through His sacrifice on the cross, in His dyeing and through His resurrection. The word Sacrament is derived from the Greek word for mystery and was translated in the Latin to be sacramentum, now in the English translation to be sacrament.

The following forgoing are exemplified in reference to Ephesians, chapter 1, verse 19, also chapter 3, verse 9 as well as in Colossians, chapter 1, verse 27. With the grace of salvation given to mankind by Christ’s Crucifixion are now formally expressed through the giving of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Communion, Penitent’s the Anointing of the Sick and Dyeing along with the granting of Ordination or as some call it, Holy Orders and Marriage. Keep in mind that the word Sacrament still means and is called the Mysteries of faith in tens of thousands of Christian Churches around the globe even today.

Many Christian Churches recognize these seven sacraments and hold steadfast on their inherent value or rather importance to what the early Christian leaders felt was to unify all followers of Christ’ and the Apostolic teachings. Think of it this way, if we were to break down the sacraments into say three distinct categories their inherent value can be understood in better relation as to why they are so important to all Christians. One, the initiation. The Initiations are the Baptism, Confirmation and Communion. Two, restorative or rather restore. The Restorative attributes are the sacraments of Penance as well as the Anointing of the Sick. I say restorative because both offer one healing and a renewal in life and even after life. That leaves us with two more and they are classified to some as inherent vocation. Which means that they are life altering in that they both unite two into one meaning to unify or join together unto the Holy Trinity. The are the vocation of Ordination / Holy Orders and Matrimony / Marriage.

This last one mentioned, Marriage is no less sacred as that of any other one of the six sacraments. It is for this reason and backed by the Holy Word of God, that marriage is and always will be, between a man and a woman. No other union is acceptable to the Holy Trinity and sacred values passed down to mankind through Christ, Himself. He made it what it is. Mankind has no right to perverse this sacred sacrament. No matter what man sanctions as rule in the land. God rules of the Church and the sanctity of these sacraments. Especially the sacrament of marriage.

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The sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination are given but once. Once for they are sufficient as a seal upon one’s soul as affirmed in the following scriptures. 2nd Corinthians, chapter 1, verses 21 & 22, Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 30 and the book of Revelations offer us a firm relation to it as a permanent seal in chapter 7, verse 3. There by making each sacrament an individual link to an external showing of public and even privet ritual or rite such as in a rite of passage, which it is. The symbolization of water used in baptism becomes a physical sensation that is felt by the element itself. By purifying and or cleansing ones person of past iniquities. It offers a renewed spiritual enlightenment of being “born again” pure and without sin.

This is essential for all persons of any era. Meaning the Past, Present and even Future. Every act of any of the sacraments offers a special ecclesiastical understanding and acceptance on the individual going through the ritual. It therefore becomes, the key which unlocks the proverbial closed heart and mind of mankind and opens it to the deity known as the Heavenly Father. It is the very basis of a foundation which builds on faith, communication and trust between man and the Holy Trinity.

It is no longer that man is alone in this world, but rather that through these rituals, one can begin to grow and see the world for what it really is and with a newness that only the grace of God on that person can give and even experience. It becomes for that person a form of continued growth in spirit and enabling them to begin to finally transform and unlock and let free, the true heart and soul that is unique to a lasting relationship between man and God.

The word baptism from the Greek means to immerse, dip or plunge. If the individual is an infant or adult it is customary to anoint them with Holy Oil. The Holy Oil is called the oil of catechumens. And so to give you a little better understanding of this I refer to the reference of Wikipedia which states that, the “oil of catechumens is to help strengthen the person about to be baptized, and prepare them for the struggle (ascesis) of the Christian life”. And that it “is the ointment of those preparing for baptism. It wards off what is evil. It brings wisdom and strength.” It also is to be blessed by a Bishop during the Holy Week and given to each congregation by the minister or priest. It is primarily used during baptism, and any occasion which requires a sanctified blessing. Such as with the other sacraments.

Allow me to also note here for further clarification, on the tradition of the baptismal rite. The ritual is usually witnessed by the parents, godparents, or individual making the profession of faith. The importance of the parents being present is to offer them an opportunity to reaffirm not only themselves of their own baptism but rather to solidify that they promise to bring the child up in the Christian way of life and guiding them along the path of life aiding the child to grow spiritually and firmly grounded in the Christian doctrine of the Holy Word of God. Not mankind and its many denominations. Though there is a place for all Christian denominations and non-denominations as long as what they teach is the true Holy word of God and not conjecture of theology or philosophy.

The presence of the “God Parent is to affirm that if, something untimely were to happen to the parents, that there will be another member of the Christian family (ie; fellow brother or sister in Christ, be they blood or not) that is trusted and respected by the parents and the church to step in if necessary and continue to raise the child within the organization and instruction of the body of Christ.

The traditional ritual of the baptism consists of a duly appointed and ordained minister immersing the baby or individual in water or by pouring water on their head, while saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Then the baby or elder individual is anointed with the blessed chrism oil.

The sacrament of baptism is the basis of the whole Christian experience. The very foundation if you will. It is a requirement and completely necessary for the saving grace of God to take place in one’s life. I refer to the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 5, which conveys that the person is a new in Christianity and is but a child no matter what age one takes the sacrament and then becomes by doing so, a child of God. Belong to Him and His family, for eternity.

I have to make mention here a note as to how special the rite of baptism truly is. In order to come to this phase of commitment with your spiritual newness, you must first be sent to Christ and accept all that He is and then you have to be accepted by Him (Christ Jesus), to warrant the calling to be baptized. For no one can go to Jesus unless the Father sends them and no one can come unto the Father unless Christ send them. That alone shows how special any individual (infant or adult) is to the Holy Trinity.

Also, before someones says, well the infant didn’t have a choice to accept what baptism is or even means and that it is not right to force it upon them. Wrong ! God and Christ with the Holy Spirit touched the parents and Godparents as well as the Church leaders. They, meaning the Holy Trinity and those called upon by them, had them ( the parents and godparents) bring forth the child and  given the sacrament. Remember, No One, means NO ONE, comes unto them, God or Christ unless they themselves invite you (infant or not) and then they send their loving and graciously merciful, Holy Spirit upon all of them and cause them to act and carry through with the ritual and rite of baptism on behalf of the said infant or child.

Well, for now I will leave you with these thoughts and over time I will write about the other six sacraments in detail as the Holy Trinity touches my heart to do so. However, for now this is enough meat for you to digest (so to speak). Until next time, may the love of God be with you and the calling of Jesus Christ upon your life lead you straight to Heavens gate and may it be opened unto you upon your arrival. In Jesus’ Holy and Blessed Name. I pray for you. Amen

God bless you always, sincerely your servant in Christ Jesus,
Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., O.S.A., O.S.P., O.S.B., O.S.MM.
Founder of the Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry and the Evangelical Church of the Celtic Cross, Old Universal Church of the Celtic Cross and the Independent Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross
03/2013

The Legend of St. Valentine

Saint_Valentine_February_14thThe history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Origins of Valentine’s Day: A Pagan Festival in February
While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Valentine’s Day: A Day of Romance
Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

Typical Valentine’s Day Greetings
In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

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This story of St. Valentine is brought to you courtesy of the History Channel.
http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day

Happy Saint Valentines Day Everyone…

Change and Faith, Unite…

Folks I don’t write often in this following way but do to my calling to ministry and the position the Lord has placed me, I give you these following comments and ask you to take to heart the intent that we are all one in Christ Jesus.

ICCCC ULCCC UNITED

With the announcement of Pope Benedict’s resignation from the papacy I am encouraged for the church. Not that He is “retiring” for reasons only known to himself and to God but that the wisdom and strength it took to come to the realization that his effectiveness and health may not be up to the tasks of the office for which he holds.

It is an opportunity that we who call ourselves Christian can do our part by lifting our prayers and concerns to the heavenly Father and plead our case and want for the church. His church. A church of the people and of God as the head.

Many Catholics have faltered these past years because of the style of governance coming from the Vatican, yet now it is our turn to be heard. Even though Pope John Paul the II and Pope Benedict the XVI have placed a very Conservative leadership with their appointees to the rank of Cardinals. We can be diligent in our faith and understanding here in the west as well as around the world, that Christ hears our cry for true change and reform in the church.

I know that through continuous prayer and devotion to the Holy Trinity change will come. The church has the unique opportunity to respond favorably to the billion plus Catholic patrons to the growing need and urgency from the next pontiff whom the Cardinals will elect to the office.

So let us pray together that our prayers will not only be heard but acted upon accordingly. I do not expect sweeping reforms from the new Pope however, there is hope that many issues that face the church today maybe appeased through the wise council of those with the insight and foresight to vote accordingly with the people. No matter what folks, we need to accept the new papal leadership with open arms and have the faith of Christ himself to know that He truly is the one in control.

I encourage any and all people who read this to be steadfast and patient in the coming months. And as we go into the Easter season with the hope of the Resurrection of Christ, we to will experience a new resurrection of the church.

Weather you are Roman Catholic, Independent Catholic or a Non Catholic, the institution of the church and its longevity is of all of our concern. It will be a test of true faith of the people to come together at this time of great importance for the most powerful faith in the world. The Christian Faith and all that it entails.

Sincerely your servant in Christ Jesus,
Bishop, Andrew R. M. Manley DD., o.s.a., o.s.p.
Independent Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross
and the Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry

Just food for thought !!!

If it is the littler things in life that make it better, than what of the big things??? A little brotherly love can go a long way but, a lot of love can heal most everything.

Isn’t it wonderful to know how much the Holy Trinity loves you. You might even say the love that you receive is three times as much love as opposed to not knowing the love of Jesus Christ in your life. Just food for thought !!!

May you always have three times as much love around you all the days of your life,

Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley  DD., O.S.P., O.S.M.  Universal life Church of the Celtic Cross, An Independent Catholic Church and Non-Denominational Christian Church Ministry

Chain Link Fence

This quick press post is going to be a,  come to,  part of our blog. From time to time I will add another link to the chain ( just copy & paste into your browser ) so you can check out what is new with the ministry. So please no sitting on or climbing over the fence, but instead,  why not let it guide you to new things within this ministry.

1.) http://youtu.be/BdCdq6vwVeE   ( My Prayer Closet ).